Saturday 18 May 2013

School and real life...

I will get to the reason why I entitled this post School and real life in a bit, first I will start with yesterday:  Yesterday was full of Hama Beads!  My girls have gone Hama bead mad in fact!  This is what they made yesterday...

Photo: A full day of Hama beads!

They ran out of the right colours half way through making them so we had to rush off (exaggerating slightly) to the toy shop for some more, as we did again today as there were no more purples! 

I think it's great for maths, counting all those pieces and following a pattern.  My brain is already ticking on ways to include Hama beads into our maths lesson without losing the fun factor!

We managed to make it to the library for the first time this week yesterday and the coffee shop!  How the girls missed the coffee shop, I didn't hear a peep from them for the whole 40 minutes we sat there.  They loved the coffee shop today as well, more so because their Nan joined us! 

So, what happened today: Not much, it's our usual lazy Saturday.  This morning Harmonie and I were alone as we are most Saturdays due to Chiara and Naomi's swimming lessons.  Harmonie spent nearly the whole time playing trains, she loved when we put the tracks in a figure of 8.  "8! 8!"  she exclaimed smiling.  It's just so cute when they are pleased with the things they have learnt.  How different it is just having one around my feet, how easy it seems to give them all they need attention wise!

So now to the bit about school and real life...

So, last night the hubby and I got talking and sort of discussed this:  Is it just me or do you find that when comparing school life to after school life do you refer to it as at school and in real life?  I mean nothing in school, to me, resembled real life.  The stucture, the fake socialising, the lack of socialisation, the lack of freedom to choose, the hours, well pretty much everything.  I'm not saying I hate everything about my schooling just that it was nothing like real life.

I don't think it's schools 'fault'  I think with the amount of children they have to teach and look after they do what they have to, they have the system they have that only suits those who fit in the right shaped box.  But, going on a tad of a waffle, do you find that one only starts to really enjoy learning after school, I can only go by my own experience.  I find this and think: really home educating my children is actually giving them a head start in life and giving them nothing but a love for learning...  Perhaps it's just because I didn't fit in that box!  I still think home education rules, I mean I would wouldn't I!  But it suits our family and our lifestyle.

I have met home educators regularly along my home educating journey (including myself) who have family and friends full of concern when you begin home educating, wondering how you can give a child all that a school can, but the truth is, if you put everything you have into it you can give them that and more.  This is what we have experienced.  All our family members who were shocked and worried about our choice to teach our children ourselves have completely turned around now they can see what life our girls have.  I hope that An Ordinary Life inspires and encourages other families who feel this is the right choice for them too. 

It does feel very brave at first, at least it did for us, the whole idea of teaching your child all they will need to know to develop into the adults they want to be; stepping out and taking that leap of faith when the world seems to be against you can be frightening and fill you with worry.  But if I could have just seen round the corner to where my girls are now, even though they are still all very young, then I really wouldn't have worried.

I have found that I am less worried about how the younger ones are doing as I can see that they are learning from life all over the place and it's really a matter of providing what they need when they ask or show signs of being ready for it.

People regularly ask, when did you teach your children to read?  When would you start to teach them this or that?  I would simply say when they show signs of being ready or ask to try.  It's all about not getting stressed about when it doesn't work and trying again another time, whatever the subject.  Sometimes it's about finding different styles sometimes it's waiting for that magic moment.  The more relaxed you are, the more excited about the world you are the more they seem to learn.

Waffle over!  Enjoy your weekend.


  1. I agree!

    School is school. It is part of most people's lives and it was part of mine and was once part of two of my children's lives. Thankfully, not anymore.

    My own experience tells me that the love of learning was there before I went and remained until senior school at which point a big part of it left me or lay dormant until school was through. When school finished a different life began and learning became the same as life again as it should be; it is not a separate thing only when we box it into what is known as *school*.

    I am so grateful that we can home educate our children and have no intention of providing them with *school*. If I wanted them to have school then they may as well be there.

    Education and nurturing the natural curiosity for discovery and learning, love of life, enjoyment, being the best we can be and following passions is our goal.

    1. Indeed: we feel so blessed and privileged to be able to home educate our 4 too xx

  2. Completely agree, Lisa! School is school and has born no resemblance to any of my life experiences since leaving it. Now it is schooling that seems strange and foreign to me :-)
    Mel xo

    1. Thanks for the comment Mel. So pleased I'm not the only one :) x

  3. I've lost count of the times I've told people that I've learnt more teaching the children than I ever did at school! We have been to a Tank Museum today with the boys. I covered both wars in school, but today I looked, I read, I was interested and I still remember it! Most things go straight out my head and I'm on to the next thing!

    1. I feel the same way! Through 'learning' with my girls I have learnt so much. Sometimes I have said outloud, shocked, why couldn't someone just have told me that. Yet another bonus to Home Ed: teaching in a style that suits the individual :)